Livestock Husbandry Development and Agro-Pastoral Integration in Gansu and Xinjiang
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This is an overview of the grazing systems in common use in NW China. People are recognized as a key factor in the management of rangelands and the participation of herders and other land users is especially important in arresting and reversing rangeland degradation. Current strategies to achieve more sustainable rangeland use are examined.
Two major livestock production systems are in use in NW China. The Pure grazing enterprise that relies on seasonal migration from winter pastures at low elevations to summer grazing on alpine and mountain meadows and the Agro-pastoral enterprises that rely on integration (to a greater or lesser extent) of the rangelands and the croplands.
Government policy is to develop a system of livestock production from rangelands that incorporates modern scientific animal husbandry and an intensification of production methods. Policy is difficult to implement and progress toward better integration of arable and non arable land which is the key to increasing forage and fodder production is slow.
Mixed systems, at the interface between croplands and rangelands, are under constant pressure to increase the area devoted to fodder and grain to meet the burgeoning demand for pen feeding of livestock and in response to population pressures and national policies that subsidize cereal production and self-sufficiency.
Grazing systems are characterized by a relatively low productivity, and most land that is suitable for grazing is already under use. Stocking rates of rangelands are probably at the maximum levels (or higher) allowed by current technologies. Therefore, it is not realistic to expect large increases of production from these systems.
There is a clear need to tackle the causes of the land degradation problem and not just deal with the consequences. Most effort in the past have been aimed in “solving” minor problems such as “how to get more forage from each hectare” rather than deal with the underlying causes of lower productivity such as insecure land tenure, unclear boundaries for the assigned grazing user rights, lack of clear policy on how to balance livestock numbers and feed supplies.
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- Livestock Husbandry Development and Agro-Pastoral Integration in Gansu and Xinjiang
- Book Title
- Towards Sustainable Use of Rangelands in North-West China
- pp 19-37
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer Netherlands
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
- Additional Links
- Ecosystem services
- agro-pastoral integration
- feed balance
- stocking rates
- grazing user rights
- land tenure
- ecological versus conventional approach
- artificial pastures
- pen feeding
- management interventions
- carbon sinks
- applied research
- Industry Sectors
- eBook Packages
- Editor Affiliations
- 01. , Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide
- 02. Gansu Bureau of Animal Husbandry
- 03. Gansu Bureau of Animal Husbandry
- 04. , Grassland Science Department, Gansu Agricultural University
- Author Affiliations
- 101. University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
- 102. Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, China
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